New species of burrowing frog named after Bengaluru


Sphaerotheca Bengaluru is being named after the city to highlight the lacunae in documentation of amphibians from non-forested areas and to restore frog habitats in Bengaluru.

A group of researchers documenting “Amphibians in the Deccan Plateau parts of Karnataka” encountered a new species of frog and published the findings in a journal. This new species — Sphaerotheca Bengaluru — is being named after the city to highlight the lacunae in documentation of amphibians from non-forested areas and to restore frog habitats in Bengaluru.

The researchers said in a press release that the new species was described based “on the morphological differences and molecular approach with the known species of the borrowing frogs (across the distribution range, South Asia)”.

The group of researchers includes Deepak P., assistant professor, Mount Carmel College, Bengaluru; scientist K.P. Dinesh from Zoological Survey of India (ZSI), Pune; Dr. Annemarie Ohler from The Institute of Systematics, Evolution, Biodiversity, National Museum of Natural History, France; Kartik Shanker from Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru; scientist B.H Channakeshavamurthy from ZSI, Calicut; and J.S. Ashadevi, professor, Yuvaraaja’s College, Mysuru.

Mr. Deepak, who encountered this species along with other researchers, published in the international journal Zootaxa published from New Zealand. Having spent his childhood in Bengaluru, he said in the release that he was happy there was a new species of borrowing frog from a highly populated city like Bengaluru. He stressed that there was a “huge responsibility” to conserve the species and make the habitat conducive for them.

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Mr. Dinesh said they were not biased towards a specific biogeographic location or ecosystem and were documenting amphibians throughout India. “We are trying to understand the patterns of new species discoveries in the country and attempting to unravel the new species from the fastest growing cities which are witnessing rapid urbanization are challenging,” he said in the release.



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Sagar Biswas

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